Vasona Light Rail Extension Opened

This weekend, the VTA‘s Vasona Light Rail Extension was finally completely opened!

The Fruitdale station is a short 10-minute walk from our apartment, and takes me all the way north to Mountain View with no transfers. It takes 56 minutes to get to the Lockheed Martin station, nearest to Yahoo!, so it’s pretty comparable to taking the bus, train, and employee shuttle. The nice thing, though, is that I’ll get a solid hour to work instead of several 10-15 minute blocks.

The other upsides: It’s about 5 minutes from here to downtown San Jose, it runs every 15-30 minutes most of the time, and it runs from 5am to midnight, seven days a week. No more taxis back from San Jose Diridon unless we arrive after midnight!

Both ways!

I biked to work this morning… not too bad time:

  • Distance: 13.3 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 10.1 mph
  • Max. Speed: 30.4 mph
  • Time Taken: 1h 20m

When I left in the afternoon, I missed the light rail by like 30 seconds… again. I figured.. screw it, I’ll just ride home. I made it! A little slower:

  • Distance: 13.2 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 9.4 mph
  • Max. Speed: 20.6 mph
  • Time Taken: 1h 23m

My totals for today:

  • Distance: 26.5 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 9.7 mph
  • Max. Speed: 30.4 mph
  • Time Taken: 2h 43m

I’ve reached my goal now, though. What should my new goal be?!

Ejected!

There was a bit of excitement on the train today…

Apparently, before I boarded at Mountain View, this guy got into a bit of an altercation with the fare inspector. He had a 10-ride ticket, but hadn’t validated it, and the fare inspector and he got into it. He was told to get off the train at Mountain View. Keep in mind that being on board without a valid ticket is an ~$250 fine. Fast forward to me boarding…

I got on the train and took my seat. I had no idea that anything had happened. I managed to sit right next to the guy, so I got front row seats. Apparently he got off the train, validated his ticket, and got back on. The fare inspector saw him get on, and pointed to him and said “You! We need to talk.” The guy ignored him. The inspector left the train.

We’re still sitting there, doors open. Everyone’s looking around like “Why aren’t we leaving?” The fare inspector returns with the conductor, and says “That’s the guy”, pointing to him. The conductor says “You! Get off the train.” To which the guy replies “No, I’m going to San Jose”. Back and forth this continues until the conductor says “Get off the train now, the nice way, or I’ll have to call the cops to have you removed. If the cops come, you’re going to be arrested and fined $1000.” The guy is like “Well then you jus’ gonna hafta call da cops, I ain’t goin nowhere”

The conductor radioed to base, “We’re gonna need the police to come out here and remove someone from the train.” They reply “Here, or in San Jose?” He says “Right here.” They get to calling the cops. The offender decided they were serious and it wasn’t worth it, and got off the train finally.

Amazing, all they wanted him to do was to get off the train and take the next one. Basically to discourage people from thinking they can just validate the tickets when they finally get inspected. I’m torn between being angry that they hold up the entire train for a $3 fare, and being amused at how stupid this guy was.

Officially Crazy, and an Alternate Route

Well, I’m officially one of the crazies now, as I biked directly to work today! I took the route I had planned, although I missed the turn at Evelyn, so I took Reed all the way to Fair Oaks. That added a bit of extra time and mileage. My stats for today were:

  • Distance: 13.8 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 10.1 mph
  • Max. Speed: 30.0 mph
  • Time Taken: 1h 22m

Ryan suggested an alternate route along the San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail, which I’ll investigate and possibly try out (if I can get on it somewhere South of Highway 101, perfect).

I made it!

I tested out my planned route today with my bike, and picked up my Jeep, which I left at Yahoo on Thursday when I had to fly out to Portland.

Here are the stats for the ride from home to Yahoo:

  • Distance: 13.3 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 10.2 mph
  • Max. Speed: 27.1 mph
  • Time Taken: 1h 18m

In addition, I rode a few laps around Yahoo after I got there, to bring my total ride up to 15.5 miles, since my goal for today was 15+ miles.